Author: Roger Zelazny
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Series: Chronicles of Amber Book Four
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(This review contains spoilers for the previous three Chronicles of Amber).
After discovering that the Amber Corwin has known all his life is not the true Amber, he decides it's time to learn more about the true Amber. As the threat of the Black Road continues to persist, Corwin begins to believe he may be able to solve this problem with the Jewel of Judgment and the original source of the Pattern.
After Sign of the Unicorn opened up the world of Amber to new possibilities, Zelazny doesn't wait long to explore these. It's not long before the often mentioned Courts of Chaos also come into play, and a conflict bigger than just securing the throne of Amber is revealed.
Corwin himself has been changing a lot as a character. It's already implied he's become a lot more empathetic and sympathetic during his stay on Earth, but his lust for the throne of Amber has always remained. That is at least until now, as he begins to question is need for it. Did he really want the throne, or did he want it just because Eric wanted it?
The return of Brand and his rivalry with his former allies Bleys and Fiona also needs to be resolved, and Brand's preoccupation with the Jewel of Judgment has Corwin worried. Dworkin also makes an appearance and offers more knowledge on the workings of Amber, and even Roger Zelazny makes a cameo as an author that's writing a philosophical romance. Wink wink.
So once again, the more plot driven aspect of the Amber books returns, but this time they also come with the continuing revelations of the last book. It turns out to be an effective combination, creating my favorite ending so far and making this the most enjoyable trip to Amber yet.